Blog Archives

Bulk Water Management with a Low Slope Roof

Low slope roofs or “flat” roofs, as they are sometimes called, typically have single-ply membrane or multi-layer “built-up” roof systems. Although one or more manufacturers offer warrantees for membranes installed with no slope, the 2015 IBC (International Building Code) requires

Posted in Construction Documents, Design, Roofing

5 Concepts in Home Heating

In roughly chronological order, considering heating only: Build a fire in the center. To get warmer, make a bigger fire or stand closer to it. To get cooler, move away from the fire or let it go out. Heat the

Posted in Design, Energy Efficiency, Passive House

Passive Houses Demystified

Passive Houses (from the German Passivhaus) are super-low-energy buildings that allow us to avoid the volatility of fuel prices, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and help protect the environment. Many may still remember the oil crises of the 1970s,

Posted in Design, Energy Efficiency, Passive House

Needed: A Passive House Architectural Style

Passive Houses are at the leading edge of energy efficiency and comfort. A Passive House approach to design and construction can reduce heating energy demand to as little as 10% of that of a standard, code compliant house. That’s a

Posted in Design, Energy Efficiency

Passive House Described

Passive House is a term that can throw you off, especially if you don’t know the origin of the term but remember passive solar. The terms are related, but they are not really the same thing. Passive Houses consider the

Posted in Design, Energy Efficiency

The Purpose of Construction Documents

It may seem silly to suggest there could be any doubt about the purpose of construction documents, for surely they are supposed to document what is to be constructed. However, the underlying purpose is to document and convey design intent

Posted in Construction Documents, Design, Practice Management, Project Administration, Project Management

Planning a School Renovation Project

Renovations projects may look easy if the folks who normally use the building are gone. School renovation projects are usually not that way. More often, design and construction have to account for ongoing occupancy and school operations during the course

Posted in Design, Project Administration, Project Management

Spec Writer = Information Manager

A comment from Sheldon Wolfe RA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, CSC on The Role of the Spec Writer got me thinking about how, in today’s world of design and construction, the spec writer really is an information manager. Although spec writers

Posted in Design, Practice Management, Project Management, Specifications

The Rise of Manufactured Systems in Architectural Design

One of the many things that have changed in the practice of architecture during the last 50 years is our dependence on manufactured building systems. Architectural education and training 50 years ago included the detailed design of components like windows,

Posted in Construction Documents, Design, Practice Management, Specifications

The Role of the Spec Writer

Reading recent grumblings by specifications (spec) consultants, I started thinking back over the roles of the spec writers at firms where I have worked since I began my architectural career in the 1960s. Spec writing and related technologies have changed

Posted in Construction Documents, Design, Practice Management, Project Administration, Project Management, Specifications

CAUTION

The content provided on this site and in the Posts is intended to be entertaining, thought-provoking, and educational. It is not intended as direction or recommendations for the design or construction of any specific building project. The information is provided in good faith but without assurance as to its completeness, accuracy, or suitability for any particular purpose. If you are considering using information provided on this site, you are responsible for verifying its appropriateness to your needs, and you assume all risk for its use.